Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Not only has the melamine scandal continued to careen out of control Epoch Times), but there are also questions about contaminated medicine again (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, the traditional opposition to the regime from within (Epoch Times) and without (Epoch Times) are now joined by former military personnel are protesting against the regime (Epoch Times).
With all of this to sweep off the front pages around the world, Beijing will be watching its Korean colony closely. Expect any effort to get North Korea to cooperate again on its nuclear ambitions to hit a brick wall until the CCP can get maximum advantage, again (One Free Korea).
Monday, September 29, 2008
Only now, after the Olympics have long since ended, are contradictory details coming out. According to witnesses as reported by the International Herald Tribune, the actual incident involved a car crash and paramilitary officers playing the "terrorist" role - a situation eerily similar to a staged anti-terror raid in Urumqi earlier this year.
For the cadres, this couldn't have come at a worse time. Candy in Great Britain (BBC), pork products in Japan (Washington Post), coffee in the United States (Epoch Times), cereal in Hong Kong (Channel News Asia), all are the latest of imports and nations ensnared by Communist China's melamine scandal (Boycott 2008, China Digital Times and Epoch Times. The cadres responded with nearly two dozen arrests (RTT News, h/t Greg Pollowitz of NRO - Media Blog), but reports of arrests and actual catching of guilty parties rarely go hand in hand where the Chinese Communist Party is concerned (see above).
Of course, the Korean colony is doing its best to distract everyone (BBC, Forbes, and the Washington Post), and there is the space walk to celebrate - now that it's really happened (BBC, London Telegraph), but it's hardly making a dent with the avalanche of melamine outrages out there.
Even worse for the CCP, the traditional concerns of the democratic world about its internal practices (such as the treatment of dissidents - Epoch Times) have now spread to its external actions, such as the aforementioned exports issue (Epoch Times), the tightening grip on Africa (Daily Mail, UK), the Long Arm of Lawlessness (Boycott 2008 and Guardian, UK), and its overall military objectives (Telegraph).
Even with all of this, the cadres would normally feel confident in their ability to ride out the storm; after all, the world believes their battling al-Qaedists in East Turkestan. That's why the IHT story is so damaging.
As I've mentioned ad infinitum, Communist China's ties to Islamic terrorism run long and deep. Whether it's al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban, if it's a terrorist group or regime looking to strike America, it has a friend in the Chinese Communist Party.
This truth, if it were ever to become widely known, would start the countdown to the end of the Communist regime. Washington would want nothing to do with a Communist tyranny that considers Osama bin Laden a tool to be used against America. Even European capitals which have a history of accommodation and appeasement would think twice about the Beijing regime. So, the regime, tries to distract the rest of the world with its phony war in East Turkestan in the hope that no one pays close attention to either brutal occupation or the fact that the native Uighur population is just about the most pro-American group of Muslims on Earth. All of that gets blurred by local acts of "terrorism."
That is, until the acts are exposed as forgeries, like the Kashgar "attack" now appears to be exposed.
The free world can not afford to ignore this reality: the Chinese Communist Party is not an enemy of radical Islamic terror; it is a benefactor of radical Islamic terror. The War on Terror will not end in Tehran, Baghdad, or Kabul, but in Beijing. America and her allies will never be secure until China is free.
Friday, September 26, 2008
As the melamine scandal goes Europe-wide (CNN and International Herald Tribune) and spreads beyond dairy products (BBC and CNN), the Communists pick a fight with Norway's Nobel Peace Prize Committee (Boycott 2008) and the German people (Epoch Times).
An exposed spy (Boycott 2008) gets buried in news of Communist China's space launch - a bit early (Times of London).
Finally, there is North Korea's renuclearization (Washington Post and Washington Times), which itself may very well have been a move to minimize the melamine fallout. Trouble is, such things can have consequences - as seen by the reauthorization of the North Korea Human Rights Act (One Free Korea).
All in all, a typical day for the cadres, but not a good one.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Instead, North Korea's renuclearization takes the headlines (BBC and the Washington Post). Of course, that in itself was likely a Beijing gambit to take the melamine fiasco off the front pages.
Speaking of melamine, the cadres were certainly hoping their laughable notion of blaming anonymous rural dairy farmers for the poison (Epoch Times) would divert attention from their own dirty hands.
No such luck (Bloomberg and the Epoch Times).
Finally, there is the continuing Falun Gong War, which took another casualty (Between Heaven and Earth). The cadres didn't even bother with a planned distraction for that one.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The very day Communist China's melamine milk scandal leads nine countries to ban the regime's dairy experts (Newsmax) and America announces tighter testing of Communist Chinese exports (CNN), Pyongyang suddenly escalates its dispute and removes all United Nations seals and cameras from the Yongbyon nuclear plant (BBC and CNN).
Coincidence? I don't think so.
With Kim Jong-il's health still a state secret (One Free Korea), whoever is in charge there (including an ill Kim) is more dependent on Beijing than the healthy viceroy of the past. Odds are, the colonial regime is at the very least hoping to remind the CCP that it can be very useful in getting embarrassing domestic news off the front pages of the world.
More likely, the Korean regime was ordered to do just that by the colonial masters. However, two separate events have complicated the cadres' plans.
The election: With the United States about to choose a new leader, there isn't as much attention paid to East Asia right now. On the plus side, that means fewer people are noticing the melamine scandal in general. However, it also means the Korean colony's antics get far less attention than normal, removing their power of distraction. Thus, those who do pay attention to East Asia will see both issues, not just one predetermined to be more important by Washington.
The financial sector: What with everyone certain that Wall Street will collapse in less than a week (it won't, BTW, but I digress), the fear of North Korea renuclearizing is barely registering. Again, that greatly reduces the colony's ability to get people's attention off the melamine.
So, as Pyongyang moves forward, the Washington Times still devotes its op-ed page to the melamine scandal (even as the regime laughably tries to insist everything is under control - BBC), and the Epoch Times discovers that one of the poison-milk sellers was the exclusive supplier for the Olympics. Even Premier Wen Jiabao's trip to New York was almost entirely ignored (although the Epoch Times - as expected - did notice).
Amidst all of this blocking the Communists' deflectors, the only thing that has gotten through was the melamine scandal - smack in the middle of the Canadian election campaign (Globe and Mail) in which the most anti-Communist party in the field is trying to turn its minority government into a majority.
While anything can happen in the next three weeks (Election Day in Canada is October 14), the CCP may need the colonial regime to do another nuclear test to blunt the effect of this.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
If you ask me, it's the wrong target and the wrong issue.
The folks who are running out of time are the Chinese Communists, not the American President. For all his faults, President Bush has nothing like the melamine-milk scandal to chase (Epoch Times) - a scandal that is acquiring a global reach (BBC and CNN) even as the regime tries to suppress news of it at home (Epoch Times).
Moreover, the President knew his time was up in January 2009. He was well aware the American people would choose his successor, as they have done every four years since 1788.
The cadres still expect to run China forever, not for them is the notion of letting the Chinese people determine their fate. So things like the melamine scandal are of greater concern to them because a Chinese populace angry enough to take its country back means an end to the perks and privileges that come with the Party Card.
So, they will be forced to put out fires like melamine and hope their Korean colony and their Latin American comrades can help them distract their own people (CNN), all the while wishing they could relax and retire as President Bush will do in four months.
Monday, September 22, 2008
In short, it was not a good weekend for the Chinese Communist Party. The melamine-milk fiasco zoomed past 50,000 victims over the weekend, with over 13,000 still hospitalized (BBC). The cadres cut loose their first high-profile scapegoat - the head of food safety (BBC and CNN). To make matters worse, other consumer items are coming up with poisons, too (Epoch Times). Talk of closing borders is already working its way through the blogosphere (Small Dead Animals).
Of course, the cadres still have their Korean colony, with which they can manipulate the free world (BBC), but that game became much tougher to play now, for Japan has a new Prime Minister - Taro Aso (BBC, CNN, and the Washington Post). Aso has been one of the leading anti-Communists in Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, and his election as PM means the accommodating era of Yasuo Fukuda is over.
For the first time is decades, both Japan and South Korea have leaders suspicious of Beijing and Pyongyang at the helm - meaning the next American president will find limitations in his "engagement" efforts (should he choose to make any). It also means that the twin tyrannies will no longer be able to play America and her allies against one another to isolate the "hard-liners" (as happened with Japan prior to Fukada's ascension and South Korea upon the election of Lee Myung-bak).
By itself, Aso's ascension to PM is hardly earth-shattering, but when combined with the melamine debacle, more reports of repression (BBC, Between Heaven and Earth, CNN, and the Epoch Times), and more counterfeit finds (Epoch Times), it capped off what was a very bad weekend for the cadres.
More importantly, Aso and Lee are now in a position to ensure the CCP's geopolitical isolation, so long as North American leaders are willing to follow suit. We'll find that out soon enough. IN the meantime, one of the Beijing regime's largest advancements in the region - a friendly government in Tokyo, just vanished.
Friday, September 19, 2008
At home, the Beijing regime has been forced to issue a massive milk recall (BBC) amidst increasing anger from would-be importers (the Chinese people are also livid - Washington Post - but we all know that foreign customers are far more important to the regime for a host of reasons). Meanwhile, an attempt by a City Councilman in New York to spread the propaganda about the upcoming CCP space launch set off a dramatic backlash as locals remembered the Battle of Flushing (Epoch Times).
Into this maelstrom strode the cadres' unlikely heroes from next door, who announced their intentions to get back in the nuclear business (BBC and CNN).
Now, the colonial regime had its own reasons to make this move, among them avoiding a flood of questions about the health of the viceroy (CNN) and distracting everybody from the ongoing famine (One Free Korea). Still, it was a godsend to Beijing, which can now play its familiar role as the only entity that can reason with Kim Jong-il et al - and extract a bunch of concessions from the free world and high praise for its "mediation" at the same time.
I can't say whether this was a coincidence or cooperation. All I can say is this: if it was coincidence, then today was the cadres' lucky day!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The Communist press service kicked off a brouhaha in Germany, accusing a magazine (Focus) of having "a Falun Gong background" (Epoch Times). The statement was telling for a number of reasons.
Clearly, this was for domestic consumption, as the rest of the world doesn't share the CCP's hatred and fear of Falun Gong. I doubt the CCP is delusional enough to think this could silence Focus (and if so, they have already been disabused of that). Odds are the Long Arm of Lawlessness is already very busy with folks like Florian Norbu Gyanatshang (Epoch Times), but I digress.
The question is: why go after Focus like this? The answer: a fight with a German magazine can distract the people from serious domestic problems, like the ever-expanding melamine-milk fiasco (BBC and CNN), the continuing scandal over earthquake donation funds (Epoch Times), and a return of the bad export meme - this time regarding armchairs (Agence France Presse via Breitbart).
Until the Communists latest propaganda move (a spacewalk - BBC) literally gets off the ground, the cadres need to pick fights with foreigners to keep their own misdeed out of the minds and eyes of their own people. Today, it's a German newspaper; don't be surprised if future targets are bigger and take more damage.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
How could this happen? Well, one of the prime culprits (Sanlu) was run by Tian Wenhua. Wenhua had another job, too: "secretary of the corporation committee of the Communist Party" (Wall Street Journal).
Can you say, "corruption?"
One need not be a read of this space to know that graft in endemic and widespread in the Chinese Communist regime. It is so bad that the Chinese Mafia (known as triads) and the Chinese Communist Party are becoming indistinguishable in many areas (Independent). What is not so well-known is why this has happened.
A totalitarian regime like the Chinese Communist Party is difficult to maintain in a nation of over 1.3 billion people. Not even a determined and bloodthirsty group in Beijing can do it all by themselves. They need local enablers and enforcers in all of the regions and provinces. Moreover, they need something to keep said enablers and enforcers on their side.
A start is making sure no public office can come with Communist Party membership; the regime has stuck to that for nearly sixty years. The real trick, however, came after Mao died, when Deng Xiaoping and his minions came up with the perfect alternative to socialism - corporatism.
Most economists and politicians ignore corporatism as a model, but for the CCP, it was a godsend. The notion of "private" corporations and the state basically working cooperatively as one unit was the perfect beginning for what the cadres really wanted: the benefits of a private sector without losing government control. The cadres switched gears economically, shifting from labor-oriented mandates to business oriented mandates. In effect, the CCP itself became a super-corporation, with only Party members (or their children, other relatives, spouses, or mistresses) allowed to "own" business (those that refused to do the Party's bidding would suddenly find their "private" firms seized, while they themselves were jailed).
Corporatism was prominent in much of the 19th century, but largely collapsed when it became clear that a corporate-controlled regime had trouble regulating the practices of the puppeteers. For the CCP, however, no such concerns are necessary. In fact, the more corrupt the "private" firms are, the more dependent they are upon the CCP to survive. Thus, corruption is no longer an effect of the Communist regime; it has become an instrument of the Communist regime.
That instrument is hardly limited to bad corporate actors. Local cadres have been using the Party card for decades to acquire ill-gotten gains at the expense of their own people, all the while proclaiming loyalty to the Beijing crew. In response, Beijing has no choice but to back their local malefactors, so long as the problem isn't so widespread as to risk a revolt - as the milk scandal is now.
Perhaps if the democratic world has a better understanding of its own economic history, it would be able to spot the signs of corrupt corporatism, and steer clear of the Pollyanaish nonsense that surrounds the "engagement" viewpoint (Asia Times, Epoch Times, Taiwan News via NRO - Media Blog, and the Washington Times). With any luck, the reality of the regime's depravity and deceitfulness would open people's eyes about the cadres' Korean colony (One Free Korea and Washington Times), their overall foreign policy (Weekly Standard), and the Long Arm of Lawlessness (Epoch Times). There would, at last, be the universal realization that the antics of the Chinese Communist Party are not the exceptions to the rules, but the rules themselves (for what it's worth, the message does seem to be clear among the Chinese people themselves - Epoch Times).
There have simply been too many stories of graft, theft, land seizures, and other perfidy to just assume it all away as a series of isolated incidents. In fact, far from being able to fight corruption, the Chinese Communist Party is now dependent upon corruption, and cannot survive without it. From local cadres to Beijing leaders, from "private" thieves to their public-office-holding patrons, the Chinese Communist Party lives off its members' infinite and unchallenged license to steal (without getting caught).
It was once said that the Roman Empire survived as long as it did by offering the people "bread and circuses." The Communists are stealing the bread, so they have only "circuses." That is what fuels the radical nationalism and the demand for overseas appeasement and silence. In time, that will also fail, and the Chinese people will rise up and take their country back.
The only question is this: how many millions of dollars and people will be lost before then?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
If China were a normal country, today would be a very bad day for the folks in power. A baby-milk scandal is continuing to spread (CNN, Epoch Times, and Washington Post) and the number of victims continues to rise (BBC and Epoch Times). The Paralympics have only highlighted the regime's terrible history with the disabled (Epoch Times). The regime-controlled police have been called in as strikebreakers (Epoch Times). A brother of human rights activist Chen Guangcheng may be arrested for the "crime" of speaking to a foreign reporter (Epoch Times).
Alas, China is not a normal country; it is a mammoth prison controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Thus, the people are muzzled and intimidated into silence.
Usually, one could rely on the democratic world to at least note and condemn this. Sadly, the "West" has been falling down on the job (Epoch Times). True, some are refusing to play the game (Epoch Times), but not nearly enough. Even on the nefarious Korean colony (Washington Post), the rot goes as high as a leading Vice Presidential candidate (and it's not Sarah Palin - One Free Korea).
So why do I limit my lament to "the West?" Simple, India - or at least its military - won't play ball (London Telegraph). While the threat from Beijing is seen as "manageable" and "long-term" in Europe and North America, it's much more immediate on the Indian subcontinent.
In time, India will become the most populous nation on Earth. It's economic growth already rivals Communist China, and its military leadership (even with the more muscular BJP in opposition rather than in power) is keen on keeping the Beijing regime in check.
America and her friends will never be secure until China is free. Fortunately, at least one of those friends seems to understand that.
Monday, September 15, 2008
At the same time, within the walls, the regime is facing serious headaches. A landslide caused by illegal but cadre-approved business operations has led to the ouster of the governor of Shanxi (CNN), although there are no reports of the party boss - the real leader of the province - getting axed. Another baby milk scandal has arisen, the sick number over 1,200 (CNN), and according to the BBC, local cadres were warned weeks ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, the post-Olympic hangover is starting to kick in (Boycott 2008).
Normally, Communist China responds to troubles within by exporting them, i.e., causing trouble for everyone else. Things are bit trickier, though, with the Korean colony in flux (BBC, One Free Korea, and the Washington Times), but only in the short run. Ditto the current moves by Taiwan to once again gain some entry into the United Nations apparatus (Washington Times).
For more worrisome for the cadres is the fact that their bellicose behavior has driven their lead regional rival (India) and their lead global rival (the U.S.) closer together (London Telegraph). Heading off this budding alliance would require a more conciliatory attitude from Beijing, but that flies in the face of the radical nationalism that the regime needs to justify its existence in the wake of continuing repression and corruption (such as the Shanxi and baby-milk fiascoes).
Such contradictions, in the long run, can crush a totalitarian regime.
Friday, September 12, 2008
During the Games, Obama observed: "Everybody's watching what's going on in
Beijing right now with the Olympics. Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business, you're starting to think, 'Beijing looks like a pretty good option.'"
Now, truth be told, I almost chose to ignore WND's rehash of this (after all, the statement itself was not new), but the more I thought of it, the more ridiculous the statement was.
For starters, as we are now seeing (BBC), the cadres had to go to extraordinary lengths to make Beijing look as wonderful as Obama said it was, but the real picture is very different even in the city, to say nothing of the rest of Communist China.
Of course, this is not just Obama's error; treating the Chinese Communist Party like its "normal" is an affliction in much of the democratic world (Epoch Times). Unfortunately, stuff like this makes it more likely that Obama will drink the Kool-Aid on the CCP and ignore its long and deep ties to terrorism , including Beijing's Korean colony (One Free Korea and the Washington Times) - an issue about which McCain has at least shown some skepticism.
I have said this repeatedly, but here goes (again); the party that embraces anti-Communism will become the majority party for the next generation. Sadly, we appear to have gone through another election cycle in which neither major party has figured that out.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
This is no real surprise to those of us who have been watching the CCP for so many years. The regime cannot be built upon truth; it requires lies to be strong, as Zang Shan details in his brilliant Epoch Times piece:
The Chinese nation was founded upon the principles of humanity, justice, propriety, wisdom, and faith. However, much to people’s humiliation, the Chinese communist regime uses falsification practices as its foundation!
Indeed, this is not the People's Republic of China; it is instead the People's Republic of ies.
Thus we have to careful when its Korean colony insists that the viceroy is recovering (BBC, One Free Korea, Washington Post) - and take note that the saga surrounding his health has been the perfect distraction for more missile constrcution (BBC and CNN). We must alsao lament how the regime has managed to stretch the Long Arm of Lawlessness deep into Nepal (CNN) and evern New York (Epoch Times). We must remember those who have perished so the lies could live (Boycott 2008).
Most of all, though, we should rededicate ourselves to helping the Chinese people take their country back.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
While the start of this week marked the beginning of the month of Ramadan for
Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims, China’s Communist authorities are reportedly cracking
down on Muslim religious activity.
The Web site for the town of Yingmaili currently lists nine rules put in place to control the Muslim holy month in the name of “maintaining stability during Ramadan.”
The list includes barring teachers and students from observing Ramadan, requiring men to shave their beards, forcing women to take off their veil’s, prohibiting mosques from letting people from outside the town stay the night, forbidding retired government officials from entering mosques, and requiring restaurants to maintain normal hours of operation.
(C e-L note: "Xinjiang" is the Communist label for East Turkestan)
I know of no other place on Earth where such restrictions have fallen upon the Muslim faith (except in other Communist regimes like the Korean colony, which insists the viceroy is just fine - BBC, CNN, and the Washington Post). Yet for the Communist regime, this is the tip of the iceberg. In its brutal occupation of formerly independent East Turkestan, the cadres have killed more Muslims than all eight medieval Crusades combined. The only entity that ever killed more followers of Islam was the Soviet Red Army.
How has al Qaeda responded? A sprinkle of lip service.
This is not to say the people of East Turkestan should welcome al Qaeda's "aid" - they can consult the people of Chechnya to discover what a disastrous move that would be. It is to say that on top of being bloodthirsty murderers and illiterate extremists, the terrorist group is also a bunch of rack hypocrites. Why? Because they know who butters the bread.
Lest anyone forget, the Communists have been al Qaeda's best friends for years; not just as a way to keep al Qaeda out of East Turkestan, but to build it up for use against the democratic world. Al Qaeda isn't alone either; Iran, Syria, Saddam Hussein, and the Taliban all benefited from the CCP's combination of military largess, anti-Americanism, and desire to keep its own fingerprints off any operations.
Thus, the non-Muslim world is inundated with false propaganda about "crusaders" who merely wish to beat back radical Wahhabism, Ba'athism, or Khomeinism, while the one regime that really does want to extinguish genuine Islam in any form is given a free pass.
This is yet another reminder that American and her allies will never be secure until China is free.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
It is certainly possible that Kim recovers, which means nothing effectively changes.
If he dies? Well, that could be very interesting.
The question of succession is, from what anyone can tell, up in the air. If true, that could mean the next "leader" of northern Korea will not be able to rely on the propaganda edifice built by the late Kim Il-Sung - especially of it's not someone from Kim's line.
Either way, KJI's successor will be dependent on the powers that be - the military, the elite in the "Workers' Party," and the all important entity upon which the northern Korean tyranny has always relied: the Chinese Communist Party.
At first, this will look like an improvement to the rest of the world. Odds are the publicity-mad regime in Beijing will tell its Pyongyang counterpart to knock off the assassination plots (BBC), and perhaps for some other things for the appeasement crowd in the free world. More ominously, it will also mean a more Beijing-dependent northern Korea, meaning more room for the CCP's penchant for coruption (Epoch Times).
Monday, September 08, 2008
However, like nearly everything else about the Games, the intended effect was nowhere to be found (BBC). Pro-democracy candidates won 60% of the vote (again - BBC) a majority of the elected seats (again), and even took a couple of the functionals (again). The result was so shocking that the city had its own Dewey-defeats-Truman moment, courtesy of the Hong Kong Standard. So, here, even in a city under Communist control with limited liberty, the Communists' Olympic game plan went awry.
Things have been no better outside Communist China. Japan is still concerned over the Communist military (Japan Times); Communist espionage in Canada continues to be front-page news (Ottawa Citizen) and Europe (London Telegraph); businesses around the world are having second thoughts about using Communist China as an export platform (Washington Post); the Long Arm of Lawlessness continues to rankle in New York (Epoch Times); and even the Communists' claim to Taiwan was turned against them by Congressman Elton Gallegly, who cleverly used it to demand the regime make good on $260 billion in Nationalist Chinese debt (Washington Times).
Even elsewhere inside Communist China, things are less than what the cadres had expected: protests in Hunan (Epoch Times), a Paralympiad that merely highlights how terrible the regime treats the disabled (Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times and the Washington Post), Sichuan earthquake victims demanding to know what happened to aid promised them (Sound of Hope via Epoch Times), soaring inflation (Epoch Times), and a teenage girl beaten by police (Epoch Times).
About all the Communists can do is declare war on the German press (Epoch Times) and try to divert attention to its space program (BBC), although the Korean colony had a good weekend (One Free Korea).
Still, the big news is in the former British colony. The Communists have now had over a decade to try and wear down and overwhelm the Hong Kong democrats - once united as the Democratic Party and now split among several parties. Yet the regime has always failed. This was their best chance. They had the urbane Donald Tsang as Chief Executive instead of the deeply unpopular Tung Chee-hwa; they had years of building goodwill with democratic nations that should know better; and, of course, they had the Olympics.
In the end, though, it got them nothing in Hong Kong. The voters refused to be seduced by Tsang, or the Games, or anything else. In the one place where democracy was allowed to live - for the express purpose of dying so the Communists could showcase the body to the rest of China - it has continued to survive because the people of Hong Kong refuse to let it expire.
The people of Hong Kong have shown uncommon bravery, compassion, and concern for their fellow man at the ballot box. They live a quiet heroism the cadres fear, and the free world must not ignore (including certain bloggers who usually focus on rural unrest).
Friday, September 05, 2008
Ji Da of the New Epoch Weekly presented a detailed, focused, and frightening account of how the Communist regime has knocked the domestic food market badly out of whack. I'd recommend reading the whole thing (Epoch Times), but the final two paragraphs are critical:
In the mid-1990s, residents of four major Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai,
Guangzhou, and Shenzhen) consumed an average of 600 kilogram of grain each year.
Even if the nationwide standard of living increases to that of these four cities in the 1990s, China’s grain consumption will increase by more than half. In other words, China needs 750 billion tons of grain to meet domestic demand.
However, to the Chinese government, purchasing food from the international market does not provide real security. A significant portion of the imports may need to come from the United States, Canada, and Australia. On the other hand, it is not realistic for China to meet its own domestic demand in the longer term. Two-thirds of China’s land mass consists of mountain, desert, and arid regions. Very little new land can be developed for agriculture use. Urban expansion, pollution, and limited water resources also constrain the growth of food production. In fact, Chinese food production has been flat for the last decade. This will be an issue of increasing global concern.
In other words, the famines wracking northern Korea could cross the Yalu River very soon. Given how the Stalinists have reacted (BBC and One Free Korea), this is a cause for grave concern. To see why, just combine Kim Jong-il's brutal starvation of his own people and nuclear brinkmanship with the large, modernizing "People's Liberation Army," Beijing's long and deep ties to terrorism, and the regime's desperate reliance and radical nationalism to survive.
This is a danger barreling in from the horizon. The democratic world must take heed. America and her allies will never be secure until China is free.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
That seemed gallingly naive at first (after all, Japan and South Korea think differently). However, upon further review (yep, it's football season again!), the Bush Administration may actually have a point. This is a Communist regime we're seeing here, and elaborate shows are their specialty. Moreover, the regime has plenty of reason to engage in this sort of bluster, namely to make sure none of the locals complain about starving to death (Christian Science Monitor).
In fact, whether this is a just a ruse or a genuine move to renuclearize, the Stalinists in northern Korea are simply taking a page from Communist China's playbook: when you run out of bread, double the circuses!
To see what I mean, let's take a look at the Chinese Communist Party's interactions with the rest of the world today. We have industrial espionage (United Press International), undue influence in Taiwan (Taipei Times) and Canada (Epoch Times), overseas intimidation in New York (Epoch Times), and racketeering (Epoch Times).
That's a fairly busy week for the CCP!
It leads one to ask, why? What is causing them to lean on democratic governments and electorates to be silent, while trying to rob them blind at the same time?
Much like their Korean colony, the cadres are reacting to problems at home, which have seen no letting up since the Olympics left town.
Australian doctors cracking down on recipients of organs from Communist China - meaning they remain well aware of the regime's policy to extract organs from executed prisoners, including political prisoners and especially Falun Gong practitioners (Between Heaven and Earth).
Meanwhile, and far more importantly to the cadres, they have had to come clean about the substandard school buildings that killed over 90,000 in last spring's Sichuan earthquake (BBC). This takes all of the propaganda gains the Communists scored from earthquake sympathy and turns it into an acidic and poisonous liability - just as students are returning to school (Epoch Times).
It's no wonder that the cadres demanded Skype shut down its discussion rooms (Epoch Times). They can't have the people they imprison know what is going on. Better to make them think the cadres are "protecting Chinese honor" with the various antics aimed at the free world.
Indeed, the Korean colony and the "home office" look quite similar.
Yet northern Korea is considered a basket case, while Communist China is praised as new power astride the globe. Why?
For starters, northern Korea is not very big. Even with the overarching "minders" sent by the Stalinists, it's fairly easy to get the lay of the entire landscape, and to see that whatever propaganda silliness goes on in the capital doesn't translate well in the countryside - leading to quick imprisonment, torture, or worse.
By contrast, Communist China is and remains huge (many of its rural provinces are larger than the entire Korean peninsula), and as in other large nations, it's very easy to just take the easy way out and assume the big cities are what's important. In India, that means the political elites in New Delhi who vie for power must rely on the much larger middle-class and lower-classes, about whom the elites are just ignorant enough to lead to wild election swings and major "upsets." In Russia, the creeping Putinism in Moscow and St. Petersburg is condemned, but the gratitude to Putin for restoring order in the myriad rural hamlets from Belarus to the Bering Sea is ignored (this is not meant as an endorsement of Putinism, just a partial explanation of its staying power). In the United States, the stark divide over Governor Sarah Palin spelt out this paradigm in bold font.
While Communist China is clearly under a brutal dictatorship, beneath that is the same urban-rural divide. In fact, given the CCP's obsession with brainwashing city residents, nearly all of the anger, frustration, and righteous opposition to the regime can be found outside the major cities, where it is both harder for MSM journalists to reach and less appealing for said MSM scribes to visit.
How widespread is the rural anger at the CCP? When will it be unleashed and channeled to topple the regime? No one really knows, least of all the Communists themselves. So they will continue to repress political freedom and resort to nationalistic policies in order to defuse and confuse.
It's more obvious with Pyongyang than with Beijing, but both are deploying weapons of mass distraction in their fight for survival.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
In Canada, the CCP's best friend in Cabinet announces his retirement (CTV - this, incidentally, all but clears the way for yours truly to make an endorsement in the upcoming Canadian elections). Within Communist China, the income gap between the connected denizens of the city and the put-upon peasants of the countryside continue to grow (Epoch Times) - and, of course, another journalist arrest (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, the regime has once again grown cozy with its Korean colony (BBC), just as Kim Jong-il decides to thumb his nose at the free world once more (BBC and CNN) amidst the continuing starvation of the people of northern Korea (One Free Korea).
Less than a month after the supposedly transformative Games ended, we're bak to business as usual.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
That's not what we see in the neighborhood, though.
In Japan, Beijing's best friend in the region stepped down as Prime Minister - due to widespread unpopularity (CNN and Washington Post). It's possible that the now-ex-PM's policies did not match well with the news of poisoned dumplings exported from Communist China to Japan (Epoch Times). In any event, the most likely successor is long-time anti-Communist Taro Aso (BBC and One Free Korea), which would mean a sea change in Japan's relations with the CCP. His counterpart in Taiwan (President Ma Ying-jeou) had several thousand anti-Communists show up on his front door this weekend demanding he stop tacking toward Beijing (BBC). Even local-level "engagement" backers like the Mayor of Vancouver are taking it on the rhetorical chin (Boycott 2008).
Meanwhile, in South Korea, President Lee Myung-bak is taking in more refugees from the Communists' Korean colony (One Free Korea), despite more bluster from said colony (OFK).
What happened? Why are the anti-Communists ascendant after the Communists' great propaganda bonanza?
Well, perhaps it wasn't really a bonanza after all (and I'm happy to see Grit Hartman agree with me - Epoch Times), and the post-mortems (literally in some cases - Boycott 2008) are only making matters worse. Besides the pre-Olympic murder in the aforementioned link, we have an entire family imprisoned because one man protested during the Games (Washington Post) and lingering anger in Taiwan about the "Chinese Taipei" label (Epoch Times - this may in part explain the anti-Ma protest). The 2008 Games are so tarnished that London City Councillor felt safe criticizing the athletes who participated (Boycott 2008).
Thus, without the Olympic "bounce," the cadres were stuck with reports of corruption in the billions of dollars (Epoch Times), environmental protests (Epoch Times), international support for Gao Zhisheng (Epoch Times and Boycott 2008), criticism of the brutal occupation of East Turkestan (Epoch Times), nationalist anger at the border treaty with Russia (Epoch Times), and nervousness from the rest of the world about the regime's geopolitical objectives (The Australian and Boycott 2008).
As if that weren't bad enough, the lawsuit against regime-owned Bank of China for facilitating Hamas financing continued to get more press (NTDTV and Pajamas Media).
Given all of this, it shouldn't surprise anyone that those who would coddle up to the regime are resigning or facing criticism. The only surprise may be that the post-Olympic hangover is coming much quicker than expected, if only because few of us new the Olympics themselves would be such a bust.